It would be a challenge to find a community that is more supportive of local artists than Carrboro, NC. The 2ndFriday Artwalk sponsored by the Carrboro ArtsCenter has contributed greatly to this cause for over ten years.
Continuing our evening adventures out on the town, last night my daughter and I strolled over to downtown Carrboro to enjoy the 2ndFriday Artwalk, held appropriately enough, every second Friday of the month. Over twenty-five local businesses throughout Chapel Hill and Carrboro volunteer each month to transform their walls and window sills into gallery spaces for local artists. From 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, residents and visitors from all over the Triangle area enjoy viewing the vast amount of work displayed throughout town, and have the opportunity to speak to the artists themselves. Many venues offer guests delicious refreshments and hire live music for the event, and the festive community spirit that is created is contagious.
Our first stop was The Beehive Hair Salon at 102 East Weaver Street, where incidentally I had my hair meticulously styled for my wedding at the Horace Williams House back in 2000 and they did an amazing job. On display was the work of Jamie B. Wolcott and her show was entitled “Posters From Your Aunt Lilly’s Attic.” The antique feel of her work immediately transported me back to a time when posters were hand-lettered typographical masterpieces. Jamie excels in this vernacular and I appreciate that she is keeping this style of illustration alive, while adding in her own contemporary edginess and originality. Hummus and carrot snacks were also enjoyed by us both.
Next, we cut through the grass and visited A Remix Art Gallery, located at 105 East Main Street. The rocking music of the Butchers and the Tin Man trio lured us in, and we were immediately greeted by owner Jeanmarie Griffin who offered us pizza and wine. We thankfully declined, and decided to stick with the lighter fare from my daughter’s snack cup of pretzels and crackers and sat down to enjoy the band. The lead singer asked my daughter what her favorite style of music was so they could serenade her. I told them she loved the Rolling Stones, and they were much-relieved that they did not have to play a tune by Raffi. The result was a fantastic cover of “Beast of Burden” that got everyone dancing and singing along, including Beth Palmer whose work was on display. Her colorful heart paintings resonate joy and love and were the perfect backdrop for the warmth in the room.
Our last stop on the Art Walk took us right across the street to Weaver Street Realty at 116 East Main Street. Local watercolorist Cindy Kahler welcomed us at the door, smiling and excited to be part of this wonderful event. Cindy was always a talented artist but chose teaching as her career instead, and taught reading in the Chapel Hill Carrboro Public School System for 24 years. In 2002 she decided to refine her gift and studied watercolor painting at the Carrboro ArtsCenter. Her watercolor collages are both realistic and fanciful, and the textured details really draw the viewer in for a closer look.
My daughter loved looking at Cindy’s paintings of big, colorful animals and then proceeded to eat through all the red grapes on the snack table. In speaking with Cindy, she asked me if I had attended Culbreth Junior High School. Surprised, I replied that I did, and she responded, “I knew I recognized that smile!” I was so impressed. That was thirty years ago and I never had her as a teacher, but like most talented artists, she clearly has a heightened sense of visual recall! We proceeded to reminisce about all the amazing teachers that taught me back then. There are far too many to mention them all here, but suffice it to say, it was a school full of dedicated teachers.
What I truly love about this town is that that although the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area has grown significantly over the years, it only takes about 2 minutes of conversation to figure out how you and someone you first meet are connected by people and places. Often, as was the case with Cindy and me, your paths have actually crossed.
If you missed last night’s 2ndFriday Artwalk, these works and others will be displayed all month long at participating local business galleries. Click here for an updated list. Just be sure to attend next month’s Artwalk on April 13, 2012, where new art from over 25 different local artists will be on display. It makes a fun Friday night!